My career really started about 1978. Since I’ve changed careers through the years, I’ve worked with a variety of different people and different kinds of people. There were executives that went out of their way to help and colleagues that went out of their way to cheer me up.

Of course there were the “other” kinds of people too. But I prefer to spend some time this week thinking about all the people who supported me, helped me grow, and encouraged me to keep trying.

Here are some people that I’m grateful for:

Good managers:

About 10 years ago I started a job in February as a corporate trainer. When summer rolled around I wanted to go to Europe and compete in an international orchestra conducting competition. I didn’t have enough time accrued for the two-week stint and I didn’t have enough money for it either.

My manager went to her boss and asked if he would bend the rules and allow me to take my time for the year and if he would loan me $2500 so I could make the trip. He didn’t know me at all. But he came to work the next day and gave me a check for $2500.

As I think back on that time, I am amazed and grateful for their willingness to do something that was simply for me. The work wouldn’t help me do my job or make me a better trainer.

Good colleagues:

Colleagues can make or break a work experience and I’m grateful for the countless people who were patient with me through the years. Some gave me poignant feedback that was painful but helped me grow and get better at my job and as a person. Other colleagues have supported me through difficult work challenges.

During a particularly difficult project someone hung a wind chime up in my office area that had the words, “Dance with life.”…to this day, I don’t know who did that but it was what I needed at just the right time. Other times I’d come back from a meeting and there would be a few pieces of chocolate on my desk. Little things that reminded me that people cared. My being there mattered.

Small Business Owners:

Starting this business to help jobseekers has been one of the most difficult challenges of my life. It was more difficult than I every thought possible and in more ways than I knew existed. Everything from marketing, bookkeeping, accounting, operations, vendors, merchant services…the list is endless and I didn’t know the first thing about running a business.

So many people have come alongside me and shown me the ropes. They have been patient, kind, and generous. After six years, I realize I owe them a tremendous debt.

Human Resource Professionals:

Keeping up with the hiring practices over the last six years has been an incredible challenge as technology has begun to take a major role in the hiring process. Human Resource professionals have given me countless hours to understand the Applicant Tracking Systems as well as their internal processes and how a candidate moves through the hiring process.

These professionals truly want to find the right person and get people in jobs. They have incredible challenges and are under intense pressure to hire the right people and ensure the company is meeting its revenue goals. Yet they take time to meet with me. I would not be nearly as effective without their long-term commitment and willingness to give me feedback and keep me up-to-date.

Supportive Friends:

Truly, supportive friends make a huge difference as we go through the challenges of life. There are so many dear friends who have told me not to give up and encouraged me in my faith. So many who have stood by me and patiently listened to my frustrations and concerns. There are no words to thank them.

Jobseekers are the best:

Of all the people I have worked with jobseekers have been among the most challenging and the greatest inspiration.

They have shown me the meaning of determination. They’ve shown me what it looks like to fall down over and over again, and still get up. They show me every week how to deal with disappointment and how to manage their emotions as they wait on a phone call for an interview or news about an offer.

Jobseekers deal with high risk every day. With every application they file, with every interview they prepare for—they risk rejection. Every day, they ride an emotional roller coaster that challenges their stability, their patience, and their self-worth.

This last week I spoke at a large jobseeker group that meets twice a month. I usually arrive at these events beforehand and talk to people to get an idea of their expectations and try to encourage them a bit.

Yet, every time I speak to a group of jobseekers I ask how they’re doing and they say, “Fine thank you!” It’s amazing. They have learned that they can be fine in the midst of their turmoil. They have redefined the important things in life. They have their health, their family. They have learned to get along with a lot less. They take heart in the little things.

Truly they are my inspiration and my heroes from 2013. They are some of the most impressive people I have ever worked with and I’m grateful for every one of them.

A. A. – Biologist
A. D. – Finance
A. D. – Corporate Trainer
A. F. – Finance Manager
A. G. – Technology Manager, Trainer
A. H. – Business Operations Support
A. M. – Science Teacher
A. I. – Attorney
A. F. – Special Education Teacher
A. J. – Scientific Sales
A. J. – Human Resources Support
A. S. – Bancard Business Development
A. Z. – Office Support
B. B. – Benefits Administrator
B. C. – Accounting Manager
B. D. – Marketing Analytics
B. J. – Legal Compliance
B. S. – Real Estate Sales
B. S. – Financial Services Sales
B. T. – Insurance Manager
B. T. – Non-profit Operations
B. W. – Logistics Management
C. B. – Sales support, trainer, operations
C. B. – IT Network Administration
C. C. – Retail Sales Manager
C. F. – Non-profit Executive
C. F. – Public Safety Executive
C. P. – Financial Executive
C. T. – Health and Life Coach
C. T. – Museum Curator
C. T. – Human Resources Director
D. C. – Operations Manager
D. G. – Graphic Design
D. G. – Writer, Editor
D. G. – Finance, Operations Support
D. H. – Real Estate Executive
D. M. – Non-profit Executive
D. M. – Cell Biology
D. O. – IT Executive
D. R. – Therapeutic Recreation
D. S. – Marketing Executive
D. S. – Education
D. S. – IT Support
D. S. – Technology
D. V. – Manufacturing Blueprint Development
D. W. – Non-profit Executive
D. T. – Marketing Executive
E. C. – Financial Executive
E. C. – Business Librarian, Executive
E. C. – Human Resources Executive
F. C. – Manufacturing Logistics Executive
F. F. – Finance
F. F. – Medical Research
F. G. – Business Analysis
F. L. – Manufacturing Executive
F. I. – Real Estate Executive
G. C. – Insurance Processing Analyst
G. W. – Logistics Executive
H. H. – Non-profit Program Management
J. B. – Digital Marketing Executive
J. B. – Medical Research Executive
J. D. – Environmental Health & Safety
J. G. – Environmental Project Manager
J. H. – Business Development Executive
J. K. – Non-profit Business Development
J. L. – Project Management
J. M. – Financial Business Analyst
J. M. – Academic Technology Sales
J. O. – Finance Business Development
J. O. – Project Management
J. P. – Non-profit Executive
J. R. – Business Analyst – Millenial
J. S. – Customer Service
J. S. – Videographer
J. S. – Graphic Design, Robotics – Millennia
J. T. – Business Finance
J. W. – Theater Operations
K. B. – Media
K. C. – Environmental Project Manager
K. E. – Nursing
K. G. – Non-profit Communications Executive
K. L. – Marketing
K. L. – Project Manager
K. M. – Children’s Books – Millennial
K. M. – Non-profit Research, Operation
K. P. – Manufacturing, Engineering Operations
K. R. – College Student
K. S. – Marketing
L. F. – Healthcare Sales
L. R. – Library Management
M. B. – Systems Analyst – Millennial
M. C. – Logistics Manager
M. C. – Writer, Business Development
M. K. – Car Manufacturing Business Development
M. K. – Scientific Research
M. M. – Academic Program Manager
M. M. – Marketing Executive
M. R. – International Compliance
N. G. – Insurance Project Manager
N. N. – Marketing Manager
P. C. – HVAC Technology Specialist
P. G. – Business Executive
P. R. – Manufacturing Operations Executive
R. C. – BioTechnology Sales Executive
R. D. – Finance Executive
R. E. – Non-profit operations – Millennial
R. F. – Academic Operations
R. H. – Business Relationship Manager
R. M. – Business Development Executive
R. S. – Environmental Science Documentation
R. S. – Business Relationship Manager
R. S. – Logistics Management Executive
S. A. – Customer Service Support
S. B. – Insurance Processing
S. F. – Office Support
S. G. – Insurance Executive
S. L. – Broadcasting
S. M. – Insurance Management
S. R. – Non-profit Executive
T. C. – B2B Marketing
T. C. – City Planning Executive
T. H. – Finance Executive
T. M. – Project Manager
T. M. – Human Resource Manager
T. S. – Sales Account Management – Millennial
T. T – Marketing Executive
T. T. – Medical Operations Executive
V. A. – Business Analyst
V. N. – Dental Hygienist
W. J. – Relationship Manager
W. F. – Operations Support

Many thanks to everyone mentioned here for helping me to grow, for challenging me, and for teaching me how to help others. I am better because of you and I continue because of your encouragement.

Last year I included this incredible display of determination. It just doesn’t get old.

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